Changing Needs Of Employer In World's Youngest Workforce

It’s no coincidence that as generation changes, the work environment also evolves. Innovations in technology and changing attitudes and attributes cause the workplace to adjust to its new present


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With the majority of baby boomers on the cusp of retirement, and a new wave of millennials and Gen Z-ers set to join the workforce in the coming years that gives an indication of the kinds of talent engagement and management that likely lie ahead.

Millennials and Gen Z currently account for slightly over a third of the workforce. In the next decade, that figure is set to shoot up, making the youthful generations the most dominant in the workplace. With that will come a greater number of them in managerial positions, too.

It’s no coincidence that as generation changes, the work environment also evolves. Innovations in technology and changing attitudes and attributes cause the workplace to adjust to its new present.

However, looking at Gen Z and what they bring to the table, what will the future of work look like?

Ways in which millennials and Gen Z are reshaping the workforce:

  • Reskilling - With job automation a growing trend that we cannot ignore, almost all managers, say they believe reskilling is important for employees. However, there is a generational divide on the best approach. While the vast majority of baby boomers feel that it is on employers to reskill their staff, millennials and Gen Z-ers are more likely to proactively seek out self-development and training schemes, which creates a win-win situation for both
  • Planning ahead - Younger generation managers are more likely than their elders to consider future workforce planning a top priority. Indeed, they are nearly two times more likely than baby boomers to have made progress in developing a flexible talent strategy as well as in investing in technology to support a remote workforce.
  • Embracing freelancers - Millennial managers are more than twice as likely as baby boomers to have increased their use of freelancers in the past few years and are projected to continue increasing their usage going forward. Coupled with the fact that a significant number of freelancers are Millennials, thus they easily recognized the value it brings in terms of productivity and cost efficiencies.  

Not only does Gen Z bring youth to tomorrow’s workforce, but it also carries a large splash of diversity. Half of Gen Z is made up by minority groups, and 81 percent know someone who is of another race. As a result, tomorrow’s workforce will continue to experience some of the most substantial changes regarding diversity.

Even though they have grown up in uncertain times, this generation is enthusiastic and somewhat optimistic about their futures and careers. There are certain areas they are more passionate and value more of over other things:

  1. They place a high value on mentorship, with a third of them ranking it as the most important benefit an employer can offer, just a few percentage points behind health care.
  2. Salary and raises are far less important to this group than a work culture with a high degree of autonomy. What would get them to stay at a job for more than 3 years? An empowering work culture said 29%, almost twice the 15% that said money.
  3. They have a firm definition of what a good employer is and it differs from that of millennia’s. Employers may still be focusing on friendly environments, flexible schedules, and perks that support millennial lifestyle desires. Gen Z, however, wants an employer focused on providing them with career growth, work that is fulfilling, and stability in the workplace. “Friendly” cultures, the flexibility of schedule and salary are way down on their list of priorities.
  1. It will be critical for employers to demonstrate that they can and will help these new employees reach their career goals. Many of them actually state that they expect to be in their “dream Job” within 10 years of entering the workforce. An employer who can provide that “dream job” will have a loyal and long-term employee.
  1. Gen Z’ers have no qualms about “moving on” if they do not see opportunity where they are, they expect to make employment changes early on until they find the “sweet spot” where they can achieve their goals. Companies will lose good talent if they cannot provide that “sweet spot.”

  6. They want professional development opportunities that are frequent and ongoing, both inside           and outside the office. They are happy to step into unchartered territory and take on new                 learning challenges.

  7. Tech Savvy- They are the most tech-savvy generation yet, Gen Z always had connectivity with         mobiles, wireless technology, and apps for multi-purpose work. They are accustomed with                rapidly changing technologies and embrace it with the open arms. This allows them to work             efficiently, adopt and enact new solutions without delay. 

Like their predecessors, Generation Z brings its own values, lifestyle, and ethics to the workplace. Communicating, motivating and mentorship is the key to their productivity, therefore creating a pleasant environment for both employers and employees are of high importance.

This is a generation with big goals and high aspirations for its future. It is willing to work hard for the right organization. Tuning into their values and needs will mean that an organization will be tapping into a committed, talented, and focused workforce.

This also means that companies will have to continue to promote initiatives that show they are actively diversifying their work environment. Showing a dedication to cultivating a workforce that’s diverse in age, gender, and the race will become will set the company apart from the rest.

As they ascend into managerial positions, they're ditching traditional, archaic models of work in favor of a flexible, remote workforce. They'll work with more freelancers, invest in reskilling and empower their teams to work remotely.

It creates opportunities for millennials and Gen Z-ers who enter managerial positions to take advantage of technology advancement to bring more productivity and efficiencies to work in a different working model and environment.

It's time to build the workforce of the 21st century, and the social contract that goes with it.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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Employer youngest workforce millennials innovations


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